You’re familiar with the wine trails in the Finger Lakes. Did you know there is also a cheese trail comprised of 12 dairies scattered throughout the region? These dairies produce an array of artisanal cheeses: everything from cheddar, chevre and cheese curds to gouda, jacks and creamy brie-style cheese and other European-style varieties.
The Finger Lakes Cheese Trail will hold its fall open house 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, and Sunday, Oct. 13. All 12 cheese trail members will open their farms to visitors on Saturday, with 10 of the 12 participating on Sunday.
Many of the farms will offer tours, and a few have special activities in store: At Lively Run Goat Dairy, in Interlaken, for example, visitors can bottle-feed the baby goats. Sunset View Creamery, in Odessa, will host vendors from the community and offer self-guided farm tours.
The 12 cheeseries participating in the open house are:
- Dutch Hill Creamery, Chenango Forks.
- Engelbert Farms, Nichols.
- Finger Lakes Dexter Creamery, King Ferry.
- Hillcrest Dairy, Moravia (Saturday only).
- Jerry Dell Farm & Store, Freeville.
- Keeley’s Cheese Company, King Ferry.
- Kenton’s Cheese Company, Trumansburg.
- Lively Run Goat Dairy, Interlaken.
- Muranda Cheese Co., Waterloo.
- Shtayburne Farm, Rock Stream (Saturday only).
- Sunset View Creamery, Odessa.
- Vanillen Dairy, Ovid.
Unlike some of the wine trails – where wineries tend to be clustered together, like grapes – members of the Cheese Trail tend to be a distance from each other. Cheese Trail reps recommend that guests visit the website, study the Google map and plan a route that includes four or five farms a day – with stops along way for food and leaf-peeping. And for wine, especially if you have a designated driver.
“The Cheese Trail is not like a wine trail,” says Carmella Hoffman, of Sunset View Creamery. “You don’t pull out of one driveway and into another. It can be a good 20 or 30 minutes between farms. You are truly touring.’’
Enjoy the scenery.
For information, visit flcheesetrail.com/
Margaret McCormick is a freelance writer and editor in Syracuse. She blogs about food at eatfirst.typepad.com. Follow her on Twitter at @mmccormickcny